SLUPSK, Poland (Dec. 30, 2015) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, anticipates breaking ground on another Aegis Ashore complex by next summer as attention turns toward Phase III of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to ballistic missile defense, or BMD, on Redzikowo Air Base.

Officials said the United States is deploying the land-based BMD facility to the Polish base to protect European NATO allies and U.S. forces in the region against growing ballistic-missile threats from the Middle East. USACE completed construction of Phase II in Romania on time and within budget in December.

Now, two major construction contracts are scheduled for award on the third phase in Poland.

"The first is a $100 million to $200 million contract to build the missile-defense facilities. We already have proposals and expect to award a contract this February," said Curt Heckelman, chief of USACE Europe District's Missile Defense Branch.

"The second is a $25 million to $100 million contract to build the offices, housing and other facilities where U.S. Navy personnel will work and live. We are currently accepting proposals, and this contract is open to all major construction companies."

USACE held a pre-proposal conference here, Dec. 2-3, attended by more than 80 interested contractors. These meetings are opportunities for major firms and subcontractors to ask questions about the Corps of Engineers contract-solicitation process and build relationships with each other as they plan their proposals.

During opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Paul Jones said Redzikowo will complement the missile-defense site built in Deveselu, Romania, as well as Aegis BMD assets deployed on Navy destroyers based out of Spain.

After construction on the Redzikowo site starts next year, the facility is expected to be fully operational in 2018, with up to 300 U.S. military personnel assigned there.

"The United States deeply appreciates Poland's willingness to host this facility and contribute to the NATO missile-defense effort," Jones said.

Col. Matthew Tyler, USACE Europe District commander, said the outlook for U.S.-funded military construction in Poland is strong.

In addition to the BMD shield, the Department of Defense and Polish Ministry of National Defense continue to cooperate on the planning and execution of projects supporting the European Reassurance Initiative, or ERI, he added.

The United States has dedicated more than $1 billion to bolster NATO's defense capabilities through the ERI. These funds support an increased U.S. military presence in the region - on land, in the air and at sea. They also will deliver important infrastructure projects.

Officials said the efforts planned for Poland will enhance its ability to host large deployments of U.S. and other NATO troops.

In September, USACE awarded contracts valued at $9 million to improve range and training areas in Poland and build new reception and staging facilities. These projects are now under construction.

USACE also expects to award about $18 million in airfield-repair and construction work in Poland in 2016, said Sean McDonald, Europe District's ERI program manager. The goal is to improve integration of U.S. and Polish air operations.

"The U.S. continues to work with our Polish counterparts to review requirements, identify additional projects and plan for the future," McDonald said.